There was a time, during the military dictatorship in Brazil, when it was illegal to import cars. This was the perfect opportunity for Brazilian car manufacturers to try to compensate for the lack of sports cars in that market. One of the most successful car companies of those times was Puma, with its famous Puma GT. A car that was even exported and built in Sout Africa, for example. The company eventually went out of business in the 1990’s, when car importing became legal again. But many still love the brand and it managed to find a way back into life. First, with a race car. This Saturday (23), with the first images of the road legal version of that car, called Puma GT 2.4 Lumimari.
Unlike its predecessor, which was built over a VW Beetle chassis, with the same 4-cilinder boxer engine placed behind the rear axle, the Lumimari will have a mid-central engine. A modern 2.4-liter mill, able to run both on ethanol and gasoline. It pumps out 132 kW (around 180 cv/ps) and 275 Nm (28 kgfm) at 2,800 rpm. Its transmission will be a 6-speed manual. Considering the Puma Lumimari will have a tubular chassis and a fiberglass body, with a total kerb weigh of 915 kg, it should accelerate in respectable times. By the way, Lumimari is an tribute to Puma’s founders Luis Roberto Alves da Costa, Milton Masteguin, Mario Cesar Camargo Filho and Rino Malzoni with the first syllables of their names.
All four wheels count on double-wishbone independent suspensions with ventilated disc brakes with 4-piston calipers. The car will have special 17-inch alloy wheels, with 225/40 R17 tires at the front axle and 255/45 R17 tires in the back, all of them Pirelli P Zero Trofeo.
The infotainment system may look just like this, but Puma says it will also be able to give the engine 5 different regulations. In other words, the owner will be able to set engine parameters with it.
Only 10 of these babies will be produced. Each one of them will come with a metal and carbon fiber “certificate” that will make these first owners special Puma partners for life. They will always have priority in buying new products and Puma goods of all sorts and free servicing. At least there are the plans. Each car will be sold for R$ 150,000, or a little less than US$ 50,000. We are yet to see the production version in the flesh, but we wish the best for this company. May it put at least these 10 Puma GT 2.4 Lumimari back to the streets.